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Exclusive Comments: AFL Grand Final Set For Queensland, Sponsors Rejoice

T
he AFL has announced Queensland will host the 2020 AFL Grand Final on Saturday, October 24, with the Gabba set to hold a crowd of 30,000.

Western Australia and South Australia also pleaded their cases to the AFL after Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdown meant the sport’s biggest event would not be held in Victoria for the first time.

With the announcement of the Gabba as the host, Brisbane Lions sponsors and fans are hopeful the club can make a push for a ‘home’ grand final, with the team currently sitting in third place.

GVC Australia (Ladbrokes/Neds) executive director of corporate development, Karl deKroo, told Ministry of Sport the decision is a great achievement for Queensland and Neds’ partnership with the Lions would benefit greatly from the Lions making it all the way.

“It is a great result for Queensland to be awarded the rights to the AFL Grand Final, and a just reward given what the state has contributed to enable the season to continue as it has,” deKroo told Ministry of Sport.

“Obviously for our Neds sponsorship, we would love to see the Brisbane Lions make a big charge in the finals and to run out for a ‘home’ grand final, under lights, at the Gabba.

“But as Chris Fagan and his team would be the first to acknowledge there is a lot of hard work to be done before that becomes a reality,” he said.

GVC Australia, which operates Ladbrokes and Neds in the Australian market, will be in a unique position on AFL Grand Final day, with Ladbrokes also being the naming rights partner for the 100th running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

“The 100th running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate will be one of the highlights of the Spring Carnival and the sporting year,” deKroo said.

“It would have been disappointing if the Cox Plate had have clashed with the AFL grand final, so it is a credit to the AFL and the broadcaster, Channel 7, to have looked at the big picture and agreed to schedule the grand final as a night fixture.

“It will make for one of the biggest days in the history of Australian sports,” he said.

With 30,000 fans set to be allowed into the Gabba for the historic AFL Grand Final, the crowd will see the AFL net as much as $12 million in ticket sales, with the average ticket price set to be $400, according to the Herald Sun.

7NEWS also reported the Gabba grand final will also be the most expensive to attend in AFL history, with corporate box tickets set to be sold for an estimated $5,000 a head, with some public tickets set to go for over $1,000 as well.

As part of the Queensland Government’s bid to host the event, the Herald Sun reports the Queensland Government will cover many of the AFL’s expenses for hosting the event, including security and entertainment.

AFL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, said Queensland had supported the AFL at a time when it needed it most.

“This has been a season like no other and I want to thank the Queensland community and the Queensland Government led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for their support and for wholeheartedly welcoming our game to the state,” McLachlan said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our code and we look forward to now working with the Queensland Government to successfully stage the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final – the biggest event on the AFL calendar – and share it with the community right across Queensland.

“The Queensland presentation was world class and, while the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be the centrepiece, an extensive promotional campaign for the sport of Australian football, including multiple regional locations throughout Queensland, will bring fans closer to footy in the lead-up to the event and provide a lasting legacy.

“I want to thank all those Governments – NSW, Queensland, SA and WA – who formally presented and put together proposals for hosting the event.

“We thank you and are truly grateful for your support of our game.

“Both this season and all seasons.

“The presentations were outstanding, and the decision extraordinarily difficult.”

“I want to thank Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, and Sports Minister, Martin Pakula, for working with us to ensure the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final can be played in front of a crowd.

“The COVID pandemic has meant we have had to take the game outside of Melbourne.

“For this year only before it returns home to the MCG in 2021,” he said.